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How to Normalize Audio in Davinci Resolve Easily

Apr 23,2020• Proven solutions

If you’re a YouTuber or make videos for a living, you already know how important it is to normalize the different audio files. Normalization helps any editor achieve a constant volume level for different audio files, which eventually enhances the overall production quality.

While it may sound too complicated, audio normalization is one of the easiest tasks involved in editing a video. Today, we’re going to explain the step-by-step process to use Davinci Resolve to normalize audio and make your audio files reach the desired target level.

So, if you use Davinci Resolve to edit your videos, continue reading, the following guide will help you understand the most convenient method to normalize different audio files.

Part 1: Why You Need to Normalize Audio

Before moving any further, let’s first understand the need for normalizing audio in Davinci Resolve or any other video editing software. As we mentioned earlier, normalizations helps in adjusting the volume levels for different audio files to achieve the same target level for the entire video.

For instance, if you’ve shot multiple clips using different cameras and audio recorders, each of the audio files is likely to have different volume levels. This is when you can use audio normalization to bring all the audio files to the same volume.

Similarly, if you’ve got an audio clip with really low volume, you can use normalization to bring up its volume levels to make it audible without damaging its dynamic range whatsoever.

Part 2: How to Normalize Audio in Davinci Resolve

Now, that you understand the need for Davinci Resolve normalizing audio, let’s dive into the process of normalizing an audio clip using Davinci Resolve.

Step 1: First of all, load the file in your timeline and play it from start to end.

audio clip in timeline

Step 2: Keep an eye on the decibel meter in the bottom-right corner. The goal should be to keep the decibel level between -15 to -10 for the entire file.

Step 3: If the volume goes above -10, you’ll have to bring it down to normalize the entire audio clip. To do so, zoom into the timeline and set a keyframe a few frames before the audio levels start to touch the peak levels.

Step 4: Move a few frames ahead and set another keyframe again. Now, simply select the volume line (where you’ve set keyframes), and slightly drag it down. This will lower the decibel levels for the remaining audio clip.

set keyframe

Step 5: Play the entire clip again and see if the decibel level still touches the red zone or not. In case it does, again, drag down the volume line to further lower the volume levels. Repeat this process until the entire clips falls between the specified (-15 to -10) audio range.

If you’re using a secondary audio, such as a music file along with the main dialogue file, for your video, make sure to normalize it as well. This will help you bring down its overall volume. However, in this case, you won’t have to add any keyframes as you want to lower the volume of the entire clip. Here’s how you can adjust the volume of a secondary audio clip/music file.

Step 1: Load the music file in your timeline. Right-click the file and tap “Normalize Audio Levels”.

Step 2: In the “Target Level” field, change the decibel level to 9.0. This limit mirrors -12 in theory.

Step 3: Tap the normalize button, and this will bring down the decibel level of the entire clip to -12.

Step 4: Now, grab the volume line and again drag it down to bring the decibel level between -15 to -17. As a result, the music file will have a comparatively lower volume than the main dialogue file, and it’ll simply play in the background without affecting the original audio clip at all.

grab the volume line

That’s some of our Davinci Resolve tips and tricks to normalize different audio files while editing a video in Davinci Resolve.

Part 3: Davinci Resolve Tips and Tricks for Flarelight

Davinci Resolve has a dedicated Fairlight tab that’ll allow you to use EQ (equalizer) for different audio clips and enhance their overall audio quality. So, here’s a list of quick tips you can use in the Fairlight tab to adjust the equalizer and make your videos sound great.

Step 1: First of all, right-click the audio clip and select “Normalize audio levels”. Select “True Peak” and set it at -2.0. This will bring down or increase the overall decibel level by -2 to give a consistent volume level.

Step 2: Use the De-Esser effect in the Fairlight tab to reduce the high frequencies in your audio clip.

Step 3: For hard-transients, make sure to use the multi-band compressor in the Fairlight tab. This default plugin compresses all the hard-transients that are produced during a voiceover.

Step 4: Open the dynamic window for your audio clip and turn-on “Gate”. It is a handy feature that removes every irrelevant audio (e.g., air) except for your voice. As a result, your voice will sound clearer in the final output.

Step 5: In the same dynamic window, use the compressor tab to reduce the dynamic range by bringing down the volume levels for the loudest parts of the audio.

Conclusion

It’s no denying the fact that audio is more important than the actual footage. If your video’s audio quality is not up to the mark, it won’t be able to engage the viewer. So, make sure to use the above-mentioned Davinci Resolve tips and tricks to normalize the audio and make it sound more elegant.

Benjamin Arango
Benjamin Arango is a writer and a lover of all things video.